Bharti mobile phone tower eyes $1 bn IPO: FT

Bharti mobile phone tower eyes $1 bn IPO: FT

London: India’s largest cellular carrier Bharti Airtel is considering raising up to $1 billion through an initial public offering (IPO) of its mobile tower arm Bharti Infratel, the Financial Times said on Wednesday.

The group is understood to be holding early stage talks with bankers about listing a stake in Bharti Infratel that could see the towers unit being valued at as much as $10 billion, the FT said.

The FT, citing people close to the process, also said that the talks were understood to be at a very early stage. Banks Morgan Stanley and Standard Chartered are among those in talks to manage the process, the newspaper added.

Earlier the news agency has reported that Bharti Infratel is planning an IPO for at least $500 million and is expected to file regulatory papers in September or October.

Bharti Infratel, which has more than 30,000 mobile phone towers, also holds a 42% stake in Indus Towers, which is the world’s top telecom tower firm with more than 110,000 towers.

Bharti Airtel and the banks were not immediately available for comment.